The coauthors (associate dean and research associate, respectively, Harvard Business Sch.) assert that the two-party system has naturally emerged out of the U.S. Constitution's subtle bias toward majority rule while discouraging voter participation. They argue that parliamentary structures are more representative of a range of different constituencies and thus encourage greater participation; democracy can be improved by using the discipline of marketing, with new voters treated as prospective customers. Active participatory democracies-which equate to market share-would be the result. This may be one of the first books to bring these ideas together from a business perspective, but it does not convincingly synthesize politics and marketing. The missing link is the role of free markets as a driver of both. For those interested in the theme of democratization, Larry Diamond's recent The Spirit of Democracyprovides a substantive analysis of the connections between democracy and economics, particularly in relation to oil, and Amartya Sen's Development as Freedomalso studies voter participation as a function of economic development. Though its themes won't be new to business readers, this unusual challenge to conventional wisdom could be useful for political science and sociology students and, as an example of interdisciplinary thinking, is appropriate for college libraries.
Stephen Turner Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information